How to Live Life on Vacation: Part 4

Kristi is a wife and mom of 3 who writes for JugglingNormal and Medium. This article first appeared here, and is republished in whole.

Your Guide to Living Well Every Day — A 4-part series

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! Part 3 was especially dense and I’m not the type to dumb it down for you, so thanks for doing the work and sticking with it. Enjoy the homestretch.

In Part 1, we explored why living your real life as if you are on vacation is such a big deal. In Part 2, we covered how to do it. And in Part 3, we outlined the six steps it takes to make it happen. In this final part, Part 4, we will uncover two ways to make your new approach to living life on vacation more sustainable.

As previously mentioned, who we are on vacation is often the best version of ourselves. Instead of saying things like “I need to clean the kitchen” or “I wonder if the grass is dry enough to cut the lawn”, “I double-booked myself again” or “there are not enough hours in the day” you may hear yourself say things such as “I’m going to get up early to watch the sunrise at that little cute coffee shop we walked by today” or “I’ve always wanted to try paddleboarding”, “Let’s put the kids to bed early so we can have some romantic time” or “this is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”

You are likely more adventurous, more observant, more present, and more gracious. Be that person in real life. It’s the simplest way to enjoy the moments of your life fully. Try it for a day, a week, a month, and let me know what happens.

It’s not a hall pass to shirk your responsibilities or let things slide, but permission to enjoy it all a little more, to make choices that expand your life, and be easy. Let the stuff that’s not for you go, focus on what brings joy, what moves your life closer to the life of your dreams, and choose happiness as often as possible.

If that sounds cliché or naïve, try again. Be your best self and your best life will show up. That’s the first way to make it stick, and it’s foundational.

The second way is to improve your environment to relax and feel more at home. What’s the worst part of coming home from vacation? It’s walking into a home, situation, or life that feels like a letdown. It’s having a mountain of vacation laundry, unfinished projects from before you left, a home that needs attention, a zillion work emails, and a reality that isn’t quite as lovely as your vacation intruding on your afterglow. Don’t let it happen. You create your reality, so start there.

Keep your home like your favorite hotel, clean, uncluttered, decorated in a way that brings you joy, positioned to make the most of your view. Stock your refrigerator and pantry with healthy, high-quality foods, and fresh produce. Use the luxurious linens, the matching porcelain, the indulgent bath and beauty products.

Fill your home with what makes you happy. Choose everything specifically with your preferences in mind, tailored and personalized and luxuriously decadent for you. This is (finally) the time to prioritize comfort.

As Nate Berkus says, “Your home should tell the story of who you are, who you aspire to be, and be a collection of what you love brought together under one roof. Our things represent what we’ve seen, who we’ve loved, and where we hope to go next. They remind us of the good times and the rough patches and everything in between that’s made us who we are.”

You don’t have to spend a fortune, you don’t have to have the best, but you need to claim a space that is entirely yours, for your comfort, for your family, for your love, that feels good in every room, at every hour, no matter what.

Then expand that to life inside your home. Be present with your family. Shower them with love and affection and special treats that are tailored to their interests and preferences. Surprise them occasionally. Delight them often. Create routines and rituals and traditions that highlight the best of your family, and reinforce your shared commitment to the lifestyle you want to lead.

Design a life that makes you happy. Eliminate or cut down the things that don’t work for you and live the life of your dreams. Even if you don’t have everything you’ve ever wanted, and who does? Start where you are with what you have and do what you can.

You’ll find you feel good more often than not — content, healthy, grateful, fulfilled, hopeful, balanced, happy, and eagerly anticipate the future. That’s the recipe for a good life. Don’t discount it. Don’t make it harder than it must be. Live well on vacation. Live well in real life. Live well.

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